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IBM to Acquire Vallent


Deal to Help Customers Manage Networks, Maintain High Customer Satisfaction

ARMONK, NY - 28 Nov 2006: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced it has agreed to acquire Vallent Corporation, a privately held company based in Bellevue, Washington with more than 400 employees. Financial details were not disclosed. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close in the first quarter of the 2007 calendar year.

Vallent is a leading supplier of network performance monitoring and service management software for wireless service providers worldwide. Vallent’s software helps service providers manage the performance of their network infrastructure through monitoring and reporting problem areas such as dropped calls and traffic bottlenecks. It also helps operators improve wireless service quality and identify network problems before they impact a customer’s experience.

The combination of Vallent’s software and IBM’s comprehensive management capabilities will enable service providers to deliver and manage end-to-end high quality services across wireline, wireless, IP and converged fixed/mobile network infrastructures. Adding Vallent to IBM Tivoli Software’s Netcool portfolio creates a broad set of service assurance capabilities spanning fault, network performance and service quality management over a wide array of technologies and third-party equipment and applications. Vallent will augment IBM’s ability to help communications service providers manage their networks as they deploy innovative new services while migrating from legacy to next generation infrastructures.

Vallent complements IBM’s existing system and service management capabilities with deep wireless expertise and capabilities to address an even broader set of critical service management issues -- from handset and base stations to IP application servers. Through the addition of Vallent technology, IBM will be able to offer a more complete picture that enables operators to provide network performance, service and customer quality information to teams such as network operations, engineering, marketing, customer care, and other service stakeholders that need to know how a service is performing, who is affected by service issues and service level agreement (SLA) performance.

The acquisition of Vallent extends the Netcool operations support system portfolio acquired with Micromuse in February of 2006 and will further enhance IBM’s ability to address the growing needs of its customers in this area, especially communications service providers.

“Today’s service provider landscape is changing dramatically,” said Al Zollar, General Manager, IBM Tivoli software. “Mergers, partnerships, and technology are making fixed-mobile convergence a reality. To compete, operators must manage the customer experience across large, heterogeneous, and complex service delivery infrastructures. The combination of Vallent and Netcool software will offer service providers an unparalleled set of network and service management tools with insight spanning from the IP core all the way to service quality as perceived by the end user.”

IBM and Vallent will help service providers manage services efficiently while improving service quality, which can enable them to bring new services to market faster, reduce their operating expenses, and use service quality as a differentiating factor to attract and retain customers.

Vallent has more than 200 customers worldwide, including worldwide market leaders such as KPN, Bharti, China Mobile, and Brasil Telecom, as well as equipment providers such as Lucent, Motorola, and Alcatel.

“Service providers face tremendous competition and pressure to differentiate through rapid deployment of innovative, high quality services,” said John Hansen, chief executive officer, Vallent. “With proven technology and extensive customer experience, Vallent and IBM can help clients manage their existing network environments while capitalizing on new services, next generation networks, continued growth in wireless connectivity, and fixed-mobile convergence.”

Following completion of the acquisition, IBM’s intent is to integrate Vallent into IBM’s Software Group as a part of its Tivoli Software unit, the same unit into which the Netcool assets from IBM’s February, 2006 Micromuse acquisition have been integrated.

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